Miskatonic University Press

Code4Lib North notes


(I sent something like this to the code4lib mailing list.)

About 40 of us were in Kingston, ON last Friday for Code4Lib North. It was a great day! I had a really good time and I hope everyone else did too.

Thursday there were about twenty people hanging out in the afternoon, and most went off for dinner and some ended up at The Sleepless Goat, a hippie cafe/restaurant, for dessert. I don't think much hacking went on, but the hanging out was good.

Friday we started at 9. There were 10 twenty-minute talks, and before lunch we did an Ask Anyone session (like Dan Chudnov did at Code4Lib in Asheville). Queen's University generously provided lunch. When we came back we had nine or ten lightning talks, the last three talks, and then broke up and some BOF sessions happened. The library shut at 4:30 and a group headed out for dinner while others went back home.

I knew some of the people there but there were lots of new faces. The talks were all very interesting. I went first and was, I'm afraid, insufficiently awake.

Walter Lewis spoke for himself and Art Rhyno about linked data and old Kingston newspapers in Our Ontario. MJ Suhonos's location-aware mytpl.ca had people oohing and ahhing when it showed that the nearest copy in Toronto of a certain book was at a branch in the very east end of the city (Kingston being 250 km east of Toronto). Alan Harnum talked about Toronto Public Library's use of Endeca, and attributed some of its features for a level 20 wizard.

Glen Newton's visualization of domains of knowledge in scientific journals was eye-opening. John Miedema gave a summation of OpenBook, his WordPress plugin that he's weaning from development, and Eric Palmitesta gave a great tutorial on XQuery and Exist. Nasser Saleh talked about Coagmento, a collaborative browsing/research tool.

I don't have the details of the nine or ten lightning talks, but there was a wide mix of people and subjects, and everyone had the Code4Lib spirit. Fifty interesting minutes, really well done.

Thanks again to Queen's University Library (it's a lovely campus, with very nice libraries) and Wendy Huot for organizing everything there. (Wendy led a BOF at the end of the day, a design critique of some new home page designs she'd working on, that was a good session, the kind of thing that really helps anyone working on library web sites.) I think it was a really fun and informative day, and I hope everyone else felt the same.